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JBond

Nagra Stories Sound-men won’t ever tell

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cmgoodin   
On 8/16/2017 at 6:05 PM, JBond said:

Does anybody know what this Nagra item was used for? Nagra QDAN  Take Identifier whatever that is.

I saw one before shown below in Nagra's collection, so when I had the chance to buy one I did. I like the fact it has Nixie tubes and it's a Nagra. 

But what was it used for if?

 

KsUXWvi.jpg

 

AlJINkz.jpg

 

James,

I have never seen one of these "QDAN" devices before.  But building and operating transfer systems (transfering 1/4" to 35mm and 16mm Mag) I believe it was a take counter that counted the dropuouts in the 60hz Pilot signal and generated an audio Beep that could be fed into transfer system to record on the Mag Film.

Nagra had a bloop system that could generate a bloop tone on the tape or work silently and just interrupt the pilot signal for a fraction of a second when triggered while recording.. When you are transferring a series of takes on 1/4" they can run one into another (especially on documentaries where there are not slate IDs.) Without bloop tones it is hard to tell when one take ends and the next one starts.  When the transfer person hears the beep from this device he could write on a log the take number from the Nixie Tube readout on the QDAN and write down the footage from the counter on the 35mm Mag transport. The SLO had something like this built in and could drive a solenoid operated Marker Pen to physically mark the 35mm Mag every time it detects the silent bloop signal thereby not disturbing the recording yet marking a visible sync mark on the audio Mag film that could be used to sync up dailies.  the Bloops were either triggered manually while rolling continuously or triggered by the camera's built in bloop light  triggered by sync cable or QRRX radio receiver every time the camera rolled.

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dela   
4 hours ago, The Immoral Mr Teas said:

The blade is metal (a dark grey to the alu silver of the mounting) - no ruby on the blade unit. My Nagra however is one of the ruby ones so I'll venture the possibility that the introduction of the blade may have coincided with the ruby guides in the late 70s? Mine is nonTC, but with cue/pilot, and as I said, the head shield.

Since you mention accessories, I've also a David Lane 3rd mic input, which I actually keep with the SJ to give it a 'standard' mic input: I'm forever looking out for another so as to have stereo preamps on the stereo machine. But as you can imagine I'm not using my two Nagras every day!

Jez

 

It seems that the one I had was one of the newer types with a ruby blade... Here is a picture of one:

 

 

QRAC.jpg

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mono   
On 8/16/2017 at 9:05 PM, JBond said:

Does anybody know what this Nagra item was used for? Nagra QDAN  Take Identifier whatever that is.

I saw one before shown below in Nagra's collection, so when I had the chance to buy one I did. I like the fact it has Nixie tubes and it's a Nagra. 

But what was it used for if?

 

KsUXWvi.jpg

 

AlJINkz.jpg

 

"Nixie tube" - Though I know what they are ... I was more curious, if - 'Anyone still made them?'

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxL4ElboiuA

 

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JBond   

 A Truly amazing video taught himself too.  Unbelievable quality from equipment used to the finished product. 

Thanks for sharing the video. 

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JBond   
9 hours ago, cmgoodin said:

 

James,

I have never seen one of these "QDAN" devices before.  But building and operating transfer systems (transfering 1/4" to 35mm and 16mm Mag) I believe it was a take counter that counted the dropuouts in the 60hz Pilot signal and generated an audio Beep that could be fed into transfer system to record on the Mag Film.

Nagra had a bloop system that could generate a bloop tone on the tape or work silently and just interrupt the pilot signal for a fraction of a second when triggered while recording.. When you are transferring a series of takes on 1/4" they can run one into another (especially on documentaries where there are not slate IDs.) Without bloop tones it is hard to tell when one take ends and the next one starts.  When the transfer person hears the beep from this device he could write on a log the take number from the Nixie Tube readout on the QDAN and write down the footage from the counter on the 35mm Mag transport. The SLO had something like this built in and could drive a solenoid operated Marker Pen to physically mark the 35mm Mag every time it detects the silent bloop signal thereby not disturbing the recording yet marking a visible sync mark on the audio Mag film that could be used to sync up dailies.  the Bloops were either triggered manually while rolling continuously or triggered by the camera's built in bloop light  triggered by sync cable or QRRX radio receiver every time the camera rolled.

 

Thank you, Courtney, for that information, must be a pretty rare unit.

I had to go back a few posts to try and figure out who James was.

I'm Joseph Bond, James is my brother. 

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dela   

A very nice machine...

 

It is nice to see one of the early versions, where the pilot system was not really implemented yet, and there was room for the huge, but very well designed head covers. On most/newer Nagra III without pilot, you can see that it is actually just a III without the pilot head fitted, on this model there is no room for a pilot head. I also shows how brilliant the Kudelski designers were: Even on this relatively early version, the design seems "mature", and exactly the same design, with very small changes, were kept until the model was phased out 10 years later. There is absolutely no "prototype"-feel to it; they did their homework and designed it correctly from the very first products...

 

Is it still working? It is amazing that the blue Philips capacitors are still working (they are on all mine), when other companies had serious problems with dried out  and/or leaking capacitors. The only defective capacitors on any Nagra seems to be the english Plessey-capacitors in the ATN power supplies. but in the recorders they just keep on working.

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JBond   

 

 

Thank you very much, Antoine Martens

Your posting of a 1959  Nagra III with a number of 105  means that 240 units were not produced in 1958 as previously thought.  Your serial number  59105 is only 47 units away from my 5858  So It was not possible to have 240 1958 models. It's now very possible they only had 100 1958 Nagra III's. They certainly did not have more than 104 1958 Nagra III's 

 Also, Nagra was still using the early head covers at 105. Those head covers were used on serial number 5822 and 5828  But not on 5858. This tells me they may have used the head covers thru 1958 and into 1959. 

This is very interesting. I can't tell from your pictures, but the color of the insides of your recorder tells me it also still has the wrinkle paint finish as mine. 

Fascinating post,  Antoine, I'm very glad you posted.  Thank you for reading my thread and replying to my 1959 Nagra III questions. 

 

Two things became apparent today,  proof there was a 1959 Nagra III, and proof there was not 240 1958 Nagra III's made. 

I added your machine to my growing Nagra III consecutive serial number database.   Yours is the most important serial number to date.  

Could you post some pictures of the sides back and bottom? 

Also a complete picture of the reel deck top.

Thank you very much.

 

 

t0cA7p4.jpg

 

 

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11 hours ago, dela said:

 

Is it still working? It is amazing that the blue Philips capacitors are still working (they are on all mine), when other companies had serious problems with dried out  and/or leaking capacitors. The only defective capacitors on any Nagra seems to be the english Plessey-capacitors in the ATN power supplies. but in the recorders they just keep on working.

 

Dela, yesterday - ruby blade - so it is! Beautiful! And I've been admiring my own IV-S more the last couple of days again!

 

My 4 series ATM is long since dead. Any obvious problems to look for or repairs?

 

Antoine, thank you for the pictures - and great that it proved extra beneficial to JB in the fascinating ongoing research. I love that 'round' erase head ...

 

best all, Jez

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dela   

The ATN supplies are simple unregulated types, where one of the central components is a 2200 uF capacitor, that is quite prone to ageing and drying out. So normally I would start with changing that. Apart from that individual rectifier diodes can short, or (in extreme cases) the transformer can be shorted. But a good bet would be the capacitor; changing it is easy and cheap, and the same goes for diodes. The exact values and diode types are uncritical; just about anything will do. After changing the capacitor, it will probably perform as new (or better).

 

On the ATN supplies there are two fuses, one for the 110 V section and one for the 220 V section. The 220 V section fuse is designed for half the max. current of the 110 V fuse, so if you replace a burnt 110 V fuse with the 220 V fuse, it will probably die quickly even if there is nothing wrong. So be sure to replace with the correct breaking current...

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MarkC   

HI Dela,

 

Recently I purchased a dual -30v power supply by David Lane. I don't own an ATN but would like to say how impressed I am with the build quality. It feels very heavy and solid. My Nagra 4.2s actually sound quieter than with the wallwart type power supplies I used previously.

 

On another note, an eBay seller says this was a custom mixer by Nagra!? Any ideas? Not for me, but would love to hear more about it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 9.24.39 pm.png

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dela   
5 minutes ago, MarkC said:

HI Dela,

 

Recently I purchased a dual -30v power supply by David Lane. I don't own an ATN but would like to say how impressed I am with the build quality. It feels very heavy and solid. My Nagra 4.2s actually sound quieter than with the wallwart type power supplies I used previously.

 

On another note, an eBay seller says this was a custom mixer by Nagra!? Any ideas? Not for me, but would love to hear more about it.

Screen Shot 2017-08-22 at 9.24.39 pm.png

 

I couldn´t resist checking eBay, and I found it; the seller is certainly not underselling it... To call it a high quality swiss broadcast quality mixer is a bit of a stretch. It might be custom made for radio work, but it seems like an inhouse job at a broadcaster, and not really a particularly good one. The component quality is mostly OK, but the switches and potentiometers are mediocre, and not even as new would they be very good. By now they are probably corroded and need to be replaced, luckily they are still as cheap as they were from the start... The capacitors are of OK quality, but I would guess that all eletrolytic capacitors are dead and need to be replaced. It is built around germanium transistors, and the seller cheerily states that they are "selected". Which would probably be neccessary just to get the thing working in the first place...

 

In short: It is a nice piece of DIY kit, but I certainly wouldn´t recommend buying it for using it, for that there would probably be much better mixers around. And if one would like to use it for a practical purpose, I think that there are better mixers available, and they wouldn´t neccesaily cost a fortune.

 

One of my favourite brands (being danish that is not a surprise) is NP Elektroakustik; they made mixing consoles for Radio Denmark, and they are really, really good. And they look nice too:

 

http://broadcastsupport.eu/products/17-audio-mixers/1320-np-elektroakustik-lv28/

 

I have one at home; I might be tempted to post some pictures of it.

 

But there are a large amount of fine mixers from 1960-1980 around, and it is great fun to see, how imaginative and competent some people were.

 

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MarkC   

That NP Elektroakustik looks intriguing.

 

Personally, I can't afford another mixer especially after having my Stellavox AMI48 refurbished unfortunately, I am fond of these vintage mixers nevertheless.

 

By the way, anyone got an Eltro Information Regulator laying around? Apparently Stanley Kubrick used one. I would be very interested in buying one!!!

 

Best MarkC

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cmgoodin   
On 8/20/2017 at 6:04 PM, JBond said:

 

Thank you, Courtney, for that information, must be a pretty rare unit.

I had to go back a few posts to try and figure out who James was.

I'm Joseph Bond, James is my brother. 

Joseph,

Sorry for the name confusion.   So you must be 006.

 

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Hello,

Here are the photos requested of my nagra III n° B 59105
 
Made in Prilly
Notice the fast winding button, different.

Please note the unconventional micro plug, amphenol, small tuckel ?
Some further remarks, the banana plugs are not gold plated, (The purpose of which is to provide a contact without oxidation)
Your nagra 5858 dating before mine, seems to possess gold-plated bananas ... not logical.
When the nagra is opened, one notices that no screw is assured of its possible disassembly with the red wax. Is it the same for your 5858?
I am also interested in two pictures of the interior of your first nagra III.
And you will notice the differences and similarities with a 1968 model, even pilot or kudelsky to placed this pilot circuit near the batteries because no more other places inside ...
The recording circuit is first generation.
The paint of the case is also like your darkest.
I run it 30 seconds every week, it's the price to pay to keep it in shape for many more years ...and the sound is perfect !
 
Best regards
 

Antoine Martens

image2.jpeg

image1.jpeg

image6.jpeg

image7.jpeg

DSCN6858.JPG

DSCN6857.JPG

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JBond   
4 hours ago, antoine martens said:

Your nagra 5858 dating before mine, seems to possess gold-plated bananas ... not logical.

 

They are not gold plated; they are brass. I cleaned the tarnish off of them.  Later ones are nickel plated. I have seen both, brass and plated used throughout the years, even on the same recorder.

Thank you for posting the paint pictures.  I'll try and post my inside pictures when I get a chance.

 

So now we have proof both 1958 and 1959 models were painted in the wrinkle finish paint, like the earlier Nagra II's.  The 1960 model is the gray hammer tone as we know on all Nagra III's.

We now know only about 100 1958's were made, I suspect very few 1959's were also made but time will tell.  The earliest 1960 serial number I have found is 60 530. So let's keep on the lookout for early 1960 numbers. Sometimes finding the next model year helps to determine how many were made in the previous year. Just like your 1959 serial number let me know the 240 number of the total 1958 Nagra III's was false. 

The number 240 was probably translated wrong and was meant the 1958 and 1959 wrinkle finish Nagras about 240 were made. 

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Hello!
For the first time I sow Nagra 4.2 when I was 19 years old. It was in Kshesinsky Palace. Matilda Kshesinskaya was the mistress of the last Russian monarch.
It was during shooting film of A. Uchitel Maniya Zhizeli. He had just shoot the film Matilda. In the twilight of Imperial Russia, prima ballerina Matilda Kshesinskaya becomes the mistress of three Grand Dukes.
But in 1994 it was another history about another ballet-dancer. The sound was recorded on DAT. Nagra was used only for play phonogram for synchronous scenes of violinist.
I myself worked this recorder! It seemed to own this recorder - it was a fantastic!
Now I have Nagra 4.2 and Nagra IV-SJ, but…I would like to have SNN!

Kshes.jpg

 

Edited by MarceauFilm

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JonG   

@JBond here is a 1964 Nagra III, # NP 64 5707. I believe it spent a good amount of its life laying back tapes to film because the record function is disabled, and it came with an original ATN, as well as a working SLP. The poor thing could use a little love to bring it 100% back, but I am not the man for that task, and all the experts I know either won't touch anything earlier than a IV-L, or just don't want to have anything more to do with Nagras. 

 

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JBond   
40 minutes ago, Philip Perkins said:

Still the sexiest looking portable recorder ever...

Phillip,  that remark makes me want to post this video again, for those who may not have seen it. 

Doesn't it just make you want to own a Classic Nagra III? or am I missing something?

 

 

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The "little black dress" of the reel to reel world ...

 

Jez

 

Marceau, welcome to JWS and the Nagra thread! Around the same time I was working with Soyusmoultfilm on a couple of films shooting in Paris. Happy days ...

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For Mr Jong,

Attention, it is classic on the nagra III, when it no longer records, it is due to a break of cable, the power supply of the module registration that no longer reaches the circuit board. This is due to the twisting of the cable bundle when the machine is opened.
 
Antoine Martens

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JonG   

@antoine martens thanks for the tip. I'll open it up and see of I can distinguish any breaks by sight. Doubtful. Just have to remember some day when I finish this movie I'm on. No time for rest, no time for play. But on set, plenty of time to lurk the forums!

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MarkC   

Could one of these Stellavox tape counters work on a Nagra IV-S? Can anyone suggest an alternate option? 

 

Peace 

MarkC

 

Screen Shot 2017-09-01 at 11.59.33 pm.png

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